jean claude van damme

Jean-Claude Van Damme, star of the original 1989 Kickboxer, returns for the upcoming reboot of the classic martial arts movie. Learn whom he's replacing, who else is on board and more!

As many know by now, the 1989 martial arts movieKickboxer— the film that helped launch the career of Jean-Claude Van Damme— is getting the reboot treatment courtesy of Radar Films. Producer Ted Field from Radar Films announced this week, however, that Jean-Claude Van Damme himself (often referred to by fans as simply JCVD) has joined theKickboxercast, taking over the role of Master Chow. JCVD replaces none other than popular martial arts movie starTony Jaa(Ong-Bak, The Protector). The 3-D reboot ofKickboxer— starring Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, andGeorges St-Pierre(and also now JCVD) — recently started production in New Orleans, Louisiana and Thailand. "We are so excited to haveKickboxerroll into production and to have JCVD in the role of Master Chow, passing the torch to Alain [leading] the franchise to a new generation," said Field regarding the addition of JCVD to the cast. "Audiences better get ready for this incredible reboot. The action is going to be non-stop with never-before-seen stunts. Simply put,Kickboxerwill kick ass!"

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Add to that list Tony Jaa, Scott Adkins, Dolph Lundgren, Dave Bautista and Sammo Hung and you've got yourself a party! Check out these fun sneak peeks!

On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, we posted a behind-the-scenes video of martial artist and film/TV actor Michael Jai White during his off time working with young students at Victory Dojo & Fitness in Burbank, California. That post was a huge hit! Thanks to everyone who liked the post on BlackBeltMag.com and on the Black Belt Facebook page, it's become one of our most "viral" videos in recent memory. It's no wonder, then, that the Black Belt editors chose Michael Jai White as the cover story for the magazine's upcoming October/November 2014 issue! Until that issue comes out in late September, though, here are some sneak peeks of upcoming martial arts movies featuring not only Michael Jai White but also a veritable smorgasbord of martial arts legends! Among these martial arts movie offerings you'll find MMA fighter Georges St-Pierre, Don "The Dragon" Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock and Donnie Yen.

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Martial artist and actor Michael Jai White has appeared in Spawn, Black Dynamite, Tyson, Universal Soldier: The Return (with Jean-Claude Van Damme), Exit Wounds (with Steven Seagal), The Dark Knight and Undisputed II: Last Man Standing. This student and teacher of kyukoshin karate is always busy, as evidenced by this archival video footage of a cover shoot for the cover of Black Belt Magazine!

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The universally positive response to JCVD has given Jean-Claude Van Damme a career boost. While fans have long championed the man and his movies, only now do the mainstream media seem willing to acknowledge his appeal. In this Black Belt exclusive, the comeback kid talks about his latest films and what he has planned for the future.

Black Belt: Were you surprised by how well JCVD has been received? Jeane-Claude Van Damme: It's been refreshing and inspiring to see [that] the film is getting such great feedback and that people have taken it to heart. (laughing) It's funny as for a long time I didn't think we would make the movie. The first time the project was discussed was after I'd been interviewed for a documentary a few years ago. The director had come up with an idea for a movie about me being caught up in the middle of something, but it never went any further. The project came up a few more times, and then I met this young guy named Mabrouk El Mechri, and he'd expressed his interest in doing such a project to show people a different Jean-Claude Van Damme. He told me that he thought I was a good actor and that he wanted to do something very different. Mabrouk is a very charismatic, very intelligent guy—he really sold me on the idea of the film, and then I didn't hear from him for some time.

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